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What is Wuyi oolong tea?
The Wuyi Mountain region in the northern part of China’s Fujian Province holds a special place in the hearts of tea drinkers worldwide. This is where the famous Wuyi Mountain oolongs are produced. These darker oolongs are grown in very limited quantities on rocky, mineral-rich terrain, thus acquiring the name rock tea (yan cha). Wuyi oolongs are traditionally well-fermented and charcoal fire-finished.
Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe)
The most famous and one of the most expensive teas on the market, Da Hong Pao oolong comes from this region. This spring-harvested Wuyi Mountain oolong is popularly regarded as the ‘King of Tea’. Its characteristic combination of one bud and three leaves is charcoal roasted and oxidized for a unique balance of flavors.
Da Hong Pao oolong is heavily fired, rich, full-bodied, honeyed, with mineral notes and light smoke undertones. Its texture is interesting, “prickly and roasty on the tip and sides of the tongue” and “sweet and smooth at the back of the sip”. Its aroma “starts out earthy and musky”, slowly softens to a “dark fruit/malt flavor”, and “develops a taste of nori” by the third or fourth steeping. Many Da Hong Pao drinkers identify “bitter chocolate and seaweed” in its initial fragrance, which slowly mellows into a “fruity aroma like grape or plum”.
Like other premium Wuyi Mountain oolongs, the fragrance and flavor of good quality Da Hong Pao will be smooth and gentle – never too strong, sharp or burnt. This serves as evidence that the tea has been correctly baked or charcoal fired. For the same reason, the tea leaves shouldn’t be too green (which suggests inadequate oxidization). The dry tea leaves should also be free from any unpleasant moldy smells. Another characterizing feature of premium Da Hong Pao is its ability to last through more than 3 infusions, gradually evolving in flavor and aroma. If what you smell and taste is weak, flat and unchanging, it’s probably not the real thing.
(see our top 10 picks below)
– Which way I ought to go from here?
– That depends a great deal on where you want to get to.
Top 10 best Wuyi Mountain oolongs to buy online
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This hand-picked tea is prized for its large silver-tipped leaves and pure peach flavor. Highly aromatic, completely lacking in astringency, this oolong has the flowery upper register of a top-grade Darjeeling, but with a rounder, deeper, fuller cup. Its flavor has been compared to chestnut, honey ...
Premium Organic Oolong Tea Origins: China. If youâre looking for a roasty oolong tea, you need look no further. Large, wiry tea leaves produce a deep amber cup, with a rich flavor. Dark Roast Oolongâs warm and earthy aroma is reminiscent of a late harvest wine. The complex flavor profile has ...
Shui Xian, which translates to "Water Sprite," is an oolong produced in a similar style to Wuyi Oolongs. Therefore they share some similar traits, such as peachy-honey notes and a mineral "rock taste." This high-fired, medium grade version results in a rich tasting amber colored cup with the ...
Wuyi Ensemble, known as Da Hong Pao or Wuyi rock tea, is a roasted oolong tea from the Wuyi mountains in Fujian province, China. The high fire treatment gives Wuyi oolong its specific smoky and minerally character. This is a beautifully balanced and complex tea with a deep, yet faint, ripe ...
Organic Oolong Tea. Long, beautiful leaves unwind and unfurl when steeped to release a smooth, rich flavor. A wonderful choice for educating the palate to the time-tested taste profiles that make our Wuyi Mountain Oolong tea so unique and refreshing. Our Wuyi Oolong is 60-80% oxidized, and ...